Well, Soularize last week was a really enjoyable time; from my perspective we hit the right balence of structure and spontaneity. We’re going to be planning for Soularize 2006 really soon so stay tuned as we’ll hopefully have more advance notice and imput for our physical and virtual sites.
In the meantime, this Spring and Summer are gearing up to have plenty of intriguing opportunities. I thought I’d share a few with you here.
For Writers and Musicians
First off, calling all of you creative types out there: I wanted to get you in on the ground floor of something, especially if you’re unpublished. The fine folks at the Burnside Writer’s Collective [People Like Don Miller (Searching For God Knows What), Lauren Winner (Mudhouse Sabbath), Rick McKinley (Finding Jesus in the Margins), Derek Webb (I See Things Upside Down), and Chris Seay (The Tao of Enron)] are launching a high-quality literary and music publication called The Ankeny Briefcase and they are looking for quality short fiction and essays (along the lines of McSweeny’s or The Believer, if those titles mean anything to you)…it doesn’t have to be “Christian” per se, it just has to be good! Contact Ankeny editor extraordinaire Jordan Green at firstname.lastname@example.org Tell him Mike sent you!
The next few months are really prime ones for some conferences and gatherings of a Jesus-centered nature. These events are arising from the momentum of what has been variously called “house church,” “tribal church,” “organic church,” “New Testament church,” “simple church,” et cetera…I’ve just called it “home” for the past six years. Anyhow, knowing Christ intimately in an open, participatory environment is the keystone, and without further ado I’ll give you the brief rundown on each of these:
1. GAINESVILLE, FL – This month, March 2005, there is a weekend conference called “The Forgotten Woman: The Bride of Christ.” It is being hosted by some Christians in Gainesville and my friend Frank Viola will be sharing. Frank is also an author, speaker, and church planter par excellence. And the conference … It is free! For more information, send an email to PTMIN@aol.com
I was talking to Frank the other day, and I said, “You’ve written, like, a million books on first-century church life, organic ecclesiology, nonhierarchical community, and obscure church history, but a lot of people who are navigating what it means to be a follower of Christ in the currents of emerging, postmodern culture haven’t even read your books … I think they’d like them, though.”
To which Frank responded with a one-URL response: “Go here, my son.”
It turned out this was all the response needed. Check it out–6 of Frank’s best books at a fair discount. Frank is an excellent thinker, writer, and practitioner. So enjoy. Okay, back to conferences …
2. ROCHESTER HILLS, MI – April 15th-17th, 2005 will be a conference, When the Church Was Young . This will be held on Rochester College’s campus by a home church community in Dearborn, MI, and a church planter guy named Tim Richey will be sharing. (You can download some of Tim’s MP3 messages here .) Contact Lisa via email at email@example.com or call Charles and Brenda Underwood, (313) 838-3810.
3. TACOMA, PITTSBURGH, ATLANTA, & ARLINGTON: Shaping of Things To Come conference with Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch from Down Under. It is about missional, relational, organic church and what the good Lord might be up to today. For more info talk to Gordon Wohlers of Mosaic Atlanta at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC – May 27th-29th, 2005 at DUKE UNIVERSITY: We (and by “we” I mean about a dozen twentysomethings from the Atlanta area and scattered around the nation and world) are looking to start an intentional community in Durham by mid-2006. This is the first “ground breaking” gathering we’re having to raise interest and awareness. Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether you’d think to join in such a mad scheme, but of course if you’re leaning in these directions already we especially implore you to come. The weekend is being co-hosted by the legendary indie press Seedsowers Publishing and novelist, storyteller, and church planter Gene Edwards . Details on this one are still forthcoming…it’s going to be at Duke Divinity School, we’re still working out the conference fee…for more info email me at email@example.com and be watching the Atlanta Saints and Eternal Purpose sites.
5. CHICAGO, IL-August 5th and 6th, 2005: Practically Speaking: Anarchism, Christianity, and Living in Fellowship Bummed about the election? Dismayed at American-Christian nationalist idolatry? Well, get out of the Republican/Democrat rat-race and explore another Christ-honoring alternative that has its roots in scripture, the Anabaptists , the Quakers , and the Catholic Worker movement: Christian anarchism! This event should be a compelling call to discipleship in the 21st century. Check out the Jesus Radicals and their “cousin” Kingdom Now for further details.
Okay friends, that’s all for now. (“Whew!” I hear you exclaim.) Feel free to post any and all of this information on your ‘blog, discussion group, website, message board, and forward it to all of your friends, and your friends’ small pets.
Until next time…